Back in November of 2008, I reported a rare Japan-for-U.S. pressing of Ozzy Osbourne’s 1983 album, Bark at the Moon (for more information, click here). Looking back at that entry, I knew to be looking for the Japanese pressing of Bark at the Moon because the inserts stated “Disc manufactured in Japan by CBS/Sony, Tokyo, Japan.” For several years, I kept finding common, later U.S. pressings that had “Now Made In The U.S.A.” stamped on the back insert next to the barcode. As evidenced by that post in 2008, I finally found the original Japanese pressing without the “Now Made In The U.S.A.” stamp.
Today, I focus on another Japan-for-U.S. Ozzy Osbourne CD, but this one took a bit of extra effort to locate. It is a Japanese pressing of Mr. Osbourne’s preceding studio album, the 1981 effort, Diary of a Madman. CBS/Sony originally released Diary of a Madman on CD in the U.S. on its Jet label under catalog number ZK 37492. Unlike Bark at the Moon, inserts for the original U.S. issue of Diary of a Madman lack the “Disc manufactured in Japan…” statement. Rather, the copyright statement on the inserts includes a New York, New York address for CBS Records, Inc. This indicates that Diary of Madman was released on CD after Bark at the Moon, at which point, perhaps, CBS/Sony no longer expected to press discs in Japan for the U.S. market.
Despite there being no link to a Japanese pressing on the Diary of a Madman inserts, I learned to my surprise some years ago that such a pressing existed. Furthermore, I learned from fellow collectors that it, like many other early Japanese CBS/Sony pressings, was very rare. Finally, I located it.
The inserts with this Japanese pressing of Diary of a Madman are identical to those found with all subsequent U.S. pressings issued under catalog number ZK 37492. Thus, one cannot look for the “Now Made In The U.S.A.” stamp to distinguish U.S. from Japanese pressings. When finding a used copy of Diary of a Madman, therefore, one must look at the actual disc to identify the pressing. Of course, this is good advice with any used CD. The proof is in the pressing.
So why is there a Japanese pressing of Diary of a Madman? Perhaps CBS/Sony was in a transition period. When drawing up the inserts, as I suggested above, maybe CBS/Sony did not expect to press this title in Japan. However, when push came to shove, so to speak, perhaps CBS/Sony did not yet have the production capacity at its U.S. DADC plant in Terre Haute, IN to press the initial Diary of a Madman CDs in the U.S. Maybe they reluctantly pressed the first batch of CDs in Japan. A lot of speculation here, I realize, but unfortunately, I have not come across a record of such information.
When contemplating the Diary of a Madman CD and the existence of a Japanese pressing, let’s consider the DIDP number. First, some background. In the U.S., CBS/Sony used 50XXX DIDP numbers first, then transitioned to 20XXX numbers, and finally transitioned to 7XXXX numbers in the 1980s. There exist Japanese CBS/Sony pressings only of titles with 50 and 20 DIDP numbers, though not all titles that fall in these DIDP number series exist as Japanese CBS/Sony pressings. It seems as though these DIDP numbers can offer some indication of chronology — the lower the number in a given series, the earlier the title likely was released on CD.
The DIDP number for Diary of a Madman, 20188, is relatively low in the 20 series. This suggests that Diary of a Madman was a relatively early CD release in the U.S. From that standpoint, perhaps the existence of the Japanese pressing is not so surprising. Going back to Bark at the Moon for a minute, it is noted that the DIDP number is 20044. This, along with the “Disc manufactured in Japan…” inserts, indicates further that Bark at the Moon was issued on CD before Diary of a Madman.
I have not studied DIDP numbers closely enough to determine a clear cut-off, meaning the highest 20 number to exist as a Japanese CBS/Sony pressing. However, I do believe that 20188 is one of the highest and should be close to the cut-off. Therefore, Diary of the Madman should be among the last U.S. CBS/Sony titles that was pressed in Japan by CBS/Sony.
Shown below is the Japanese pressing of Diary of a Madman and the accompanying back insert. Compare the copyright paragraph on this back insert to the one used for Bark at the Moon.
The Japanese CBS/Sony pressing of Ozzy Osbourne Diary of a Madman (Jet (CBS/Sony), catalog number ZK 37492). Note that the disc states “MADE IN JAPAN” along the perimeter at the bottom. It has “CSR COMPACT DISC” repeating in the clear plastic ring, and the matrix code is “DIDP-20188 11 +++++”.
The back insert accompanying the Japanese CBS/Sony pressing of Ozzy Osbourne Diary of a Madman (Jet (CBS/Sony), catalog number ZK 37492). Note that the copyright paragraph at the bottom does not contain the “Disc manufactured in Japan…” statement.